ROCKFISH DATES SET
The spring season for striped bass will run the entire month of May, with a minimum size limit of 36 inches and a creel limit of one fish per person, the Department of Natural Resources has announced.
Fishermen will be required to obtain a free permit and plastic tag before going fishing. Permits, which include a biological report that will be forwarded to DNR, were to be made available this week at area tackle stores.
A Chesapeake Bay sport-fishing license also will be required.
Fishing hours for stripers will be from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., with possession of stripers prohibited outside those hours while on the water.
The area for stripers is limited to the main bay areas south of the northern span of the bay bridges and Pocomoke and Tangier sounds.
Live bait, including eels, and the use of gaffs are prohibited.
Legal stripers must be checked in at designated stations the day they are caught.
Flounder fishing near Wachapreague, Va., picked up last weekend, according to the DNR, so in a week or so flounder catches can be expected to pick up in Maryland waters. Mackerel fishing continues in Ocean City, with unsettled weather slowing the catch.
In fresh water, a week of warm days and seasonably cool nights should have the fishing improving in ponds, lakes and rivers.
White perch (bloodworms or grass shrimp) fishing should be good at Millington on the Chester River, Red Bridges on the upper Choptank, up to the Route 214 bridge on the Patuxent, in the Blackwater River and in the upper reaches of the West, South and Severn rivers.
In the Patapsco River, bloodworms or night crawlers fished on the bottom in the Belle Grove area have turned up a few catfish. Catfish also have been hitting sporadically at the fishing pier on the Choptank near Cambridge.
Bass fishing has been improving as the weather warms and stabilizes.
The Middle, Northeast and Gunpowder rivers have been turning up largemouths of two to three pounds on jigs and pigs fished slowly in deep water. In the tidal Potomac, fishing jigs or artificial grubs slowly on the drop-offs also has produced some nice bass. In the upper Potomac, the Dickerson area has been turning up bass, catfish and crappie.
Reservoir fishing has been producing crappie (Liberty, Loch Raven) on small minnows and shad darts, striped bass (Piney Run, Liberty) on live shiners drifted near deep ledges, bass (Loch Raven, Triadelphia and Rocky Gorge) on slow spinner-baits or jigs and pickerel (Loch Raven) on live shiners fished near structure or grasses in the coves.
The Gunpowder river, from Prettyboy Dam to Loch Raven, has been good for trout, but the lower river has been low. Small, black stone flies have been working well. Hunting Creek is in good condition, but the Savage River ranged in the mid 30s last weekend and fishing has been slow.
A week from Saturday, the spring turkey season opens and runs through May 16 (excluding Sundays).
Friday-Sunday: Baltimore County Marine Trades Boat Show and Water Festival at Martin State Airport, Middle River. New and used boats, boating and fishing equipment, RV and boat towing vehicles. Displays of antique cars, race boats, fire and water rescue equipment and demonstrations of boat docking, wind surfing, small-boat racing. Admission is $3 per person or $5 per family. Show opens at 10 a.m. Call (410) 335-7000.
Saturday-Sunday: Gun and knife show, Tall Cedars Forest No. 45, 2501 Putty Hill Avenue in Parkville. Shotguns, rifles, ammunition, antiques, pistols, knives, swords, books, etc. Sponsored by Camrod Hunting Club. Show starts at 9 a.m. both days. Admission is $4. Children under 12 will be admitted free but must be accompanied by a parent. Call (410) 391-8883.
Saturday-Sunday: Turkey hunting seminar and sight-in days at Green Ridge State Forest in Allegany County. Tactics, camouflage, safety, bird calling, game care and biology of the wild turkey will be covered. The activity is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.
Sunday: Spring turkey hunting seminar, including shotgun patterning, at the Howard County Fairgrounds, 8 a.m., with an emphasis on safety and equipment. Pre-registration and fee required. Call (301) 461-3007.
Monday: Monthly meeting of Pasadena Sportfishing group at the Waterbury Inn on Magothy Beach Road, 7:30 p.m. Capt. Sonny Forrest of Solomons will speak on spring bay fishing. Raffles and door prizes. Admission is free and the public is invited. Call (301) 255-3678.
Tuesday: Monthly meeting of the Talbot County Chapter of the MSSA, at the Shore Sportsman on Route 50 outside Easton. Program will include Chuck Prahl on tying bucktails and rockfishing tips from Bobby Marshall, Buddy Harrison IV, Bill Perry and Keith Walters. Call (410) 822-4240.
NAMES AND PLACES